Talent Development Articles

February 10, 2016

How to Improve Diversity Within Leadership Teams

When you think of your prototypical mentor, you probably picture a seasoned professional like a Caucasian male with an impressive title and well-tailored suit. While this mentor type may work well for some companies, oftentimes organizations will find that their new, more varied employee demographic... More

February 03, 2016

5 Tips for Planning a Mentoring Program for Diversity

In today’s organizations, managers must respond to the needs of increasingly diverse employees. Many organizations have instituted diversity training programs to help understand and utilize the unique contributions of all employees by creating an inclusive work environment. However, minority employe... More

January 13, 2016

Top 10 Tips For Being a Good Mentee

When dealing with a mentorship, there are a few things to be taken into consideration. A good mentor is constantly aware and improving his or her skills, so the mentee must learn how to a better mentee. If the two cogs fit symbiotically, it can blossom into a valuable relationship. 1. Remember That... More

January 08, 2016

Why Become a Mentor

Individuals who volunteer to be mentors often do so for the intrinsic value they receive from carrying out this role; for the purpose of giving to another colleague. For people who are younger or less experienced, mentors who share their knowledge and experiences with mentees can change the world fo... More

January 04, 2016

Recruiting Mentors for your Mentoring Program

The major challenges and misconceptions in recruiting mentors The greatest challenge in recruiting and retaining mentors is largely due to a lack of understanding about what the role of mentor requires. This is normally based on two most likely misconceptions. The first regards the amount and leng... More

December 23, 2015

The Role of Women Mentors in Closing the Gender Leadership Gap

CEOs who understand the impact that gender equality has on their business, know it is critically important to address this issue; that it is the smart thing to do for financial reasons as well as ethical ones. However, gender equality goals cannot be met without solid strategies for how to address t... More

December 17, 2015

Women-led mentoring leads to an increase in the bottom line

Today, women comprise almost half of the workforce. Women are a strong force in the economy. However, according to a recent CNN Money Analysis article Still Missing: Female Business Leaders “only 14.2% of the top five leadership positions at the companies in the S&P 500 are held by women. It's e... More

December 17, 2015

The Benefits of a Lasting Association with your Employees

Many organizations and their employees are not yet receiving the mutual benefits of the ongoing and lasting association inherent in corporate alumni programs. The career long benefits for alumnus and the payback for companies who have alumni programs are well documented. Very few companies have an ... More

December 16, 2015

Mentoring as a Talent Development Strategy

Talent development has traditionally been met using training and coaching solutions that can be effective but also expensive per capita. Although not mutually exclusive, mentoring as part of a talent development strategy has a forward-looking, growth-oriented vantage point. Mentoring encompasses coa... More

December 11, 2015

Alumni programs across all industry sectors

Recently several major trends including – the “war for talent,” changing attitudes towards work, employee employer relationships, and the adoption of cloud-based technologies – have encouraged companies across all industry sectors, to proceed with major initiatives to gather their intangible assets ... More

December 10, 2015

Guide to starting a mentoring program, Part 4: Manager/Supervisor training

An important step that is often overlooked in the process of launching a mentoring program is training the managers of mentees / mentors to enable and facilitate mentoring relationships. While managers are not directly involved in the mentoring process as are the mentees and mentors, they play an im... More

December 09, 2015

3 ways alumni programs improve organizational productivity

Alumni programs are an effective solution for companies wanting to stay connected with former employees. However, these programs can also serve as a valuable tool for helping organizations improve productivity among their current employees. Alumni programs can help a company better achieve its goal... More

December 03, 2015

Encouraging workplace diversity through mentoring

Employers are routinely employing policies that foster diversity in the workplace. Diversity is often tied to the age, gender, and ethnicity of employees. These elements are part of workplace diversity, but organizations may also need to be concerned with professional diversity: creating a workforce... More

December 02, 2015

Alumni relations for business development

One of the main benefits of establishing a strong alumni program is the potential of new revenue derived from referrals by alumni to new business. Previous employees are in an ideal position to refer you to new clients, especially if they move on to employment in an industry that uses solutions offe... More

November 30, 2015

Guide to starting a mentoring program, Part 3: Mentor training

After the creation of a business case, setting up all elements to ensure success and matching qualified mentors and mentees, the next step in establishing a corporate mentoring program is mentor training. The goal of this phase is to ensure that mentors understand what is expected of them and how to... More

November 17, 2015

Using alumni data to improve program engagement

To make a corporate alumni program active and engaging, it is important to understand the needs of both current and future alumni. The best way to gain this understanding is through the analysis of alumni program data: these numbers offer empirical evidence about the behavior and interests of alumni... More

November 16, 2015

Guide to starting a mentoring program, Part 2: Mentee training

Once a business case for a mentoring program has been agreed on, you will need to consider how you will qualify and train your mentees. A well-trained mentee stands to gain much more from a mentoring program than one who is unsure about their role or how they will be expected to contribute. There a... More

November 11, 2015

Next Level Alumni Management: Growing an Existing Alumni Program

The full benefits of corporate alumni programs are only realized by companies that have highly effective alumni networks in place. Many organizations struggle in the growth period between the beginning of their alumni program and its development into an engaging channel that helps them achieve busin... More

November 10, 2015

Guide to starting a mentoring program, Part 1: Building the business case

The first step to success for any mentoring program is positioning it as a vital component of organizational growth. Many proponents of mentoring struggle during this early step: company leaders are often skeptical about the need for a mentoring program and how exactly it will benefit the organizati... More

October 30, 2015

How to start a mentoring program without software

A successful corporate mentoring program requires a strong plan of action, measurable goals, and an understanding of what is required from everyone involved. While mentoring software can make your program more effective and easier to manage, there are several things that should be done to get your p... More

October 23, 2015

Managing the Cultural Fit Challenge with Corporate Alumni Recruitment

Today's corporate recruiters face many challenges. As employees become increasingly mobile, top talent is becoming harder to both attract and retain. Recruiting candidates that are a good cultural fit is another critical challenge for recruiters. Katherine Klein at the University of Pennsylvania's ... More

October 21, 2015

9 Benefits of Corporate Mentoring for Your Organization

Doing successful, profitable business in today’s fast-paced, competitive, and demanding world means finding the lowest-cost, highest-quality solutions for your organization’s needs. There is no question that your greatest asset is your people and their collective knowledge capital, and that strategi... More

October 16, 2015

Employee Referrals: The Hidden Benefit of Alumni Relations

An engaged alumni network provides cost effective access to top-caliber talent and serves as a channel for business development, but there is another benefit of alumni relations that is not often talked about: referrals from former employees. In a recent study conducted by iCIMS, it was reported th... More

October 14, 2015

Benefits of Corporate Mentoring Programs for Onboarding: Case Study

When applied effectively, mentoring for onboarding is a powerful tool for improving the efficiency with which new hires are assimilated into the organization. Insala worked with a client experiencing three significant challenges in their onboarding program: Slow time-to-productivity and difficul... More

October 13, 2015

The role of Mentoring and Alumni relations in a career progression plan

Today's employees are increasingly focused on their personal career progression, both inside their current organization and beyond it. This represents a significant shift from previous generations of workers, where the ideal career track was to stay at one company and work one's way "up the lad... More

October 08, 2015

How employee motivation and retention has changed in 7 years

In 2008, we published an article about how to motivate and retain top talent through employee engagement. In it, we mentioned a Gallup study that showed only 30% of the U.S. workforce was engaged with their jobs. Seven years have passed, and the needle hasn't moved much when it comes to engagement:... More

October 04, 2015

4 Ways to Address Employee Engagement With HR Software in 2016

In a recent interview, HR thought leader Josh Bersin describes employee engagement as the number one issue facing corporate human resources teams today. Why is engagement so critical to the modern workplace? Recent years have seen several shifts in the employer-employee relationship: The younge... More

October 04, 2015

Three risks of managing corporate alumni on social media

Many organizations are tempted to establish and manage their alumni community on a social media network like LinkedIn. This is a dangerous foundation. The "Rented Land" Problem On a recent episode of his podcast, content marketing thought leader Joe Pulizzi talked about the flaws of buil... More

September 24, 2015

Alumni Relations Have Become a Cultural Magnet for High Potentials

The current generation of high potential employees doesn't expect to stay at a position forever. When evaluating a prospective role or employer, workers are already thinking about how the skills and experience they will gain there will help them later in their careers. The most desirable corporate ... More

September 22, 2015

Video and Mentoring Fill the Corporate Learning and Development Gap

There is a substantial disconnect between the kind of corporate learning that employees expect from their employers and what they actually receive. The gap is most notable in two particular areas of learning and development: Technology – Corporate learning systems are outdated and cumbersome co... More

September 21, 2015

Corporate Alumni Management Best Practices Checklist

Many companies that understand the benefits of alumni programs are past the planning and implementation phase: they are focusing on developing their program to engage with their alumni. To achieve high levels of engagement with corporate alumni, it is necessary to integrate the alumni management so... More

September 16, 2015

Performance Management Best Practices for 2016 and Beyond

An increase in career mobility in the modern workforce has led to a change in the way organizations need to approach performance management. The generation of corporate movement is upon us and whether you believe it or not, your company is participating. In this climate of free agents and career mov... More

September 14, 2015

How to Increase Alumni Engagement With Segmentation

For corporate alumni programs to be successful, they must offer relevant content and opportunities to all alumni participants. The huge amount of correspondence that people receive through email and social media makes this a necessity for an engaging alumni program. An effectively segmented alumni ... More

September 10, 2015

Corporate mentoring to maximize the value of short term employees

A free agent mentor is defined as a “short term” employee who transfers their knowledge to other employees through a formalized corporate mentoring program. Free agent mentors allow you to retain practical skills and abilities as “employee” retention becomes more difficult. There is a troubling dis... More

September 03, 2015

How Corporate Alumni Goals Vary by Industry

Today's corporate alumni programs are more than just directories of names that receive an email newsletter every so often. The best alumni programs consist of well-cultivated networks of former employees and are tied to specific, measurable goals. The benefits of implementing an Alumni program can b... More

September 01, 2015

Corporate Mentoring for Global Sales Effectiveness

Building a global sales team presents many obstacles to efficient onboarding, training and motivation of new talent resulting in very high costs of training and a sub-par succession pipeline. The Challenge of Global Sales Effectiveness New hires on a global sales team can take much longer to get u... More

August 27, 2015

Alumni Programs for Financial Services: 3 Sources of ROI and Keys to Success

Many financial services companies today are facing a big challenge with their alumni programs: convincing management that it is a worthwhile investment. What management needs is a clear cost/benefit analysis, and a highly engaged network of corporate alumni represents three major sources of revenue... More

August 25, 2015

Embracing the Generation of Corporate Movement: Millennials

Much has been said about millennials in the workforce today. Critics deride them as entitled, immature products of parents who monitored them too closely. Proponents argue that millennials bring a breath of fresh air to the workforce through their creativity, rejection of conventional boundaries, a... More

August 20, 2015

Winning the War for Talent with Alumni Engagement

Hiring managers today continue to face major challenges when it comes to filling open positions. CIO reported recently that almost 70% of technology executives believe there is a shortage in both the quality and quantity of skilled technology workers available. Success in this war hinges on two goa... More

August 18, 2015

7 Ways to Improve Mentor and Mentee Engagement

You've spent countless hours creating the goals for your mentoring program, assigning mentors to mentees, and establishing a timeline. But if you're like most organizations, there's one key element you are forgetting: engagement. Without sustained engagement, even the best-planned corporate mentor... More

August 13, 2015

Corporate Alumni Program ROI Relies on Hi-Potential Alumni (HPA) Identification

The benefits of hiring corporate alumni are well-known: they already understand the organization's culture and work style, and in their time away from the company have most likely gained valuable skills that make them better at their job. Hiring alumni often calls for a less expensive onboarding pro... More

August 12, 2015

5-Step Process to Make Your Corporate Mentoring Program a Success

Like any other business initiative, corporate mentoring programs must be planned and monitored with ROI in mind. Too many companies today aren't sure what they really want to accomplish with their mentoring programs, making them hard to measure and justify with decision makers. Mentor program manag... More

June 10, 2015

Internal Mobility: Need and Purpose

Career development opportunities are at the top of your employees “must-have” list. Not addressing this need is starting to take a toll on organizations that have fallen behind. In a 2013 survey of more than 100 companies by consultancy Towers Watson, the lack of internal mobility opportunities was ... More

June 08, 2015

Career Development Challenges In Your Workplace

The benefits of creating and growing a culture of career development and learning are obvious. But as you’re encouraging career development culture you must be aware of two things: What balance of isolated career development (trainings, classes, etc.) vs. social career development (mentoring p... More

June 02, 2015

Barriers to Mentoring (And How to Overcome Them)

In a poll taken in one of our recent webinars, 41% of attendees said a lack of participant understanding of what is entailed in a mentoring program was their biggest obstacle to implementing a mentor training program at their organization. Whether you have only recently considered starting your fir... More

April 21, 2015

Mentoring Technology for the High Tech, High Touch Age

Technology has quickly taken over the facet of business life where human-to-human interaction used to be the norm. However, it’s important to keep in mind that technology isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. Especially when we’re talking about mentoring technology, we’re talking about an aid that can... More

April 01, 2015

Diversity Mentoring Programs and Your Organization

“You can’t buy diversity, and organizations that continue to embrace this approach will tarnish their brand.” (Forbes 2011) How Important Are Diversity Mentoring Programs? There’s no question that the modern workforce is becoming more and more diverse every day. If you want to be able to effective... More

March 16, 2015

Creating an Effective Onboarding Program

Creating an Onboarding Program to Retain New Hires The unfortunate reality is that you can lose new hires as quickly as you hire them. This is a problem when you take into consideration the cost of hiring and onboarding that new employee - costs you will incur twice over if you lose a new hire and ... More

March 04, 2015

When High Potential Employees Leave

By Phillip Roark, CEO of Insala High Potential Employees Don't Stop Being High Potential When They Leave When a high potential employee decides to leave your firm, they don’t stop being high potential. Increasingly, leading firms are recognizing that an employee leaving an organization shouldn’t... More

February 16, 2015

Online Mentoring Software and High Touch Partnerships

Benefits of Online Mentoring Software Mentoring is all about human “high touch” relationships. So why go for high tech in a mentoring program that should be all about high touch? For medium to large-scale mentoring initiatives, the use of online mentoring software has been proven to facilitate ment... More

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